After a year of operation, Fordham’s Westchester campus is an unqualified success in the areas that matter most, according to its executive director.
“It’s a beautiful campus; it’s conducive to learning; it’s a great location; enrollments are increasing, and we’ve had an opportunity to have many people visit,” said Ron Jacobson, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs and executive director of academic programs at the new campus.
Accolades for the campus, which is housed in a three-story, 62,500-square-foot building on 32 landscaped acres in West Harrison, began arriving not long after the ribbon cutting in September 2008.
Last April, Fordham Westchester was named “Building of the Year” by the Westchester chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. The campus is home to an adult undergraduate program, as well as the Graduate Schools of Business, Education, Religion and Religious Education, and Social Service.
Visits by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education also yielded positive feedback.
Now in its second year, the campus has experienced double-digit percentage increases in both the number of students and the number of credit-hour enrollments. Some of the increase can be attributed to the addition of the Graduate School of Business Administration’s Executive MBA program, Jacobson said.
A continuing education program, featuring 12 courses from the resident schools on topics ranging from “Career and Finance” to “Personal Growth,” also saw moderate success, and will be expanded.
The campus is busiest on evenings and weekends, Jacobson noted, which is an indication of the schools’ success in reaching out to working professionals in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Fairfield counties.
More cooperation between academic units is a hallmark of Fordham Westchester, Jacobson added. For example, two “All-Campus Open Houses” during the 2008-2009 academic term replaced separate admissions events that had been held by individual schools. Also, in coordination with the President’s Task Group on Veterans, the campus held a special summer open house just for veterans concerning the new Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, Jacobson said.
Finally, to increase Fordham Westchester’s visibility in the community and to be a good neighbor, the campus has offered free meeting space to several community organizations, including the Anti-Racist Alliance; Teacher Center of Central Westchester; United Way of Westchester and Putnam; Westchester County Tourism Board; and the Westchester End of Life Coalition.